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Gentle Giant - The Power And The Glory CD (album) cover

THE POWER AND THE GLORY

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.31 | 1530 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AdaCalegorn
4 stars If not as great as 'Octopus' or 'In a Glass House', is their most successful approach into a commercial sound and still countersign a concept album into the proggest way. Funny, clever and gigantic.

The uproar brush its entrance on a echoed moog and Shulmman voice with a "Proclamation", about his current life and how luck could change that situation, slowly but firmly it goes growing in rhythm and instrumentation, the hums move forward to the expectation of some nice news. Before long here and there the tempo changes among dynamic keyboards burst onto a dark ironic hail, devoted hooraying for risk of the bet and 'the power and the glory way' that carries that lucky odd game.

As the number runs, strings in jazzy the mood calm down and recites a strange apology for the character himself, 'So Sincere' takes the feelings going up and then down and up again trying to hide emotions that betray his game.

Abruptly all turns to the moog whispering in calm reflection and claims for the revision of "Aspirations" of being human and right and the duty of every man to lead its own way. Soft, sweet, is almost a ballad for the lost man. A haunting song.

Then comes the reason for this album and the first track I've heard from here. After all the Cartesian spirits from the former, the medieval sound, so moody into the band beat, returns and offers a less somber tune as this character risk for once and starts "Playing the Game" without losing all the prog features, this track turns into a more jovial and accessible sound. Perhaps trying to reach for a new target. Or maybe they've just having a laugh for a while.

A more dense and way progger fierce the instrumental intro of "Cogs in Cogs" breaks from the fade of the former and actives the business machinery of money and vicious circles. Clearly the rhythm goes more enthusiastic and kind of aggressive. The man's frustration around this treacherous world is almost palpable. There is a point (a fascinating melodic interlude with some vocal out tempos) where the character could analyze the vicious circle from outside before being voraciously turn back in the wheel.

Again those medieval strings lead the path out of the machinery and into the loneliness, a contemplative loneliness where "No God's a Man" and still every man must face their own fates. Smooth and a little dim.

So "The Face" opens with a great, really great violin intro. The moog escort subtle and straight, and guitars turn into a rocker side. Push throughout a new chance, another attempt for the success, where strategy and tactic could be the best weapons for the use. Easily the most dynamic track of the album. Frantic and ravenous keeps moving from beginning to end. Clearly an understated piece.

"Valedictory" closes the album reprising with a harder strength over the first track, like a wheel turning over its own origin start. With a slower rhythm and a noisier sound the character accepts his fate into the vicious circle, surrendered before 'The Power and the Glory' he'll never reach.

A bonus track from the 35th Anniversary edition is "The Power and the Glory" has a merry yet ironic attitude towards the dangers of defiance and risky style of life. The song is clearly part of the story with the character take the risk for a happy run, but musically contrasts with the resting atmosphere aiming for a happy ending of sorts and being a little more quickly, it feels like was done in a rush. Not a bad song at all, yet not entirely round. For any newbie into the knowledge of this magnificent band, this could be the perfect start. Is more accessible than others works, after and before, and yet it captures the progressive essence of the band. Let's make it a lucky shot.

AdaCalegorn | 4/5 |

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